One night at a bar an old friend tells director Ari Folman about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. Every night, the same number of beasts. The two men conclude that there is a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties.
The first feature-length animated documentary film: a journey into the 80s, the youth culture and the darkness of Western Beirut during the war.
Ari Folman was born in Haifa in 1962 to Polish-Jewish Holocaust survivors.
His graduate film, “Comfortably Numb” (1991) documented Ari’s close friends taking cover on the verge of anxiety attacks during the first Gulf war while Iraqi missiles landed all over Tel Aviv. The result was comical and absurd and the film won the Israeli Academy Award for Best Documentary.
Throughout the 90s Ari directed many documentary specials for the Israeli TV, mainly in the occupied territories. In 2001 he took time off for his second feature film, “Made in Israel”, a futuristic fantasy that centers upon the pursuit of the world’s only remaining Nazi.
Ari has written several successful Israeli TV series, including the award-winning “In Therapy” (“Be Tipul”), which was the basis for the new HBO series “In Treatment.”
Ari made his initial attempt at animation in his series “The Material that Love is Made Of” – each episode opens with five minutes of documentary animation which depicts scientists presenting their theories on the evolution of love. This successful attempt at documentary animation propelled Ari to develop the unique format of “Waltz with Bashir”. Based on a true story, the film is a quest into the director’s memory for the missing pieces from the days of the Lebanon War in the mid 80s. As far as Ari was concerned, it was only natural to transform the quest into animation, full of imagination and fantasy.
Scriptwriter, Director and Producer: Ari Folman
Director of Animation: Yoni Goodman
Art Director: David Polonsky
Editor: Nili Feller
Sound Designer: Aviv Aldema, Noemi Hampel
Re-recording Mixer: Lars Ginzel
Original Music: Max Richter
Producers: Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul, Yael Nahlieli, Serge Lalou
Production: Bridgit Folman Film Gang, Les Films d’Ici, Razor Film Produktion
Co-Production: Arte France, ITVS International
IN COLLABORATION WITH:
Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Noga Communications – Channel 8, The New Israeli Foundation for Cinema & T.V., Israel Film Fund, Hot Telecommunication LTD
PRESS & SALES
AWARDS & FESTIVALS
Oscar Nominee 2009 for Best Foreign Language Film
Winner Golden Globe 2009 Best Foreign Language Film
Winner César 2009 Best Foreign Language Film
Winner Best Animation Film and runner up Best Documentary, L.A. Critics, 2008
Winner Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film 2008 of the National Society of Film Critics, USA
Winner Critics’ Choice Award 2009 (BFCA) Best Foreign Language Film
Winner Best Israeli Film of the Israeli Film Critics Association 2008
Winner Best Film of the European Film Festival Palic 2008
Winner Audience Award of Warsaw IFF 2008
Winner Asian Pacific Screen Award Best Animation 2008
Winner Grand Prize of the Tokyo Filmexx Festival 2008
Winner British Independent Film Award (BIFA) Best Foreign Independent Film 2008
Winner Best Documentary Feature at IDA Awards (International Documentary Association) 2008
Winner Best Art Direction and Young Jury Prize as Best Feature Film at the Film Festival Gijón 2008
Winner Special Jury Prize of the Black Nights Festival in Tallinn 2008
Winner Film of the Year 2008 (Protestant Film Jury)
Nominated Film Not In The English Language and Animation of BAFTA Award 2009
Nominated Best Animation Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Composer at Annie Award
One of Top Five Foreign Films of National Board of Review in New York
Nominated for Golden Palm, Festival du Film Cannes Official Selection 2008